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Divorce Not The Answer For Warriors

Kamille Turnquest-Simmons |
January 31, 2011 | 12:30 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

Warriors guard Stephen Curry could be moved before the trade deadline. (PicApp)
Warriors guard Stephen Curry could be moved before the trade deadline. (PicApp)
Divorce. People split up so quickly these days; it’s like someone has an extramarital affair and suddenly papers are signed, bank accounts are separated, and custody battles are fought. And who suffers? The kids.

A similar phenomenon is taking place is the world of professional sports; a team has a losing season and suddenly coaches are fired, players are traded, and contracts are voided. And who suffers? The fans.


Joe Lacob, who has co-owned the Golden State Warriors along with Peter Guber for all of three months, has been talking trade. The Warriors have had quite a few losing seasons recently and, accordingly, the new owner said that no one on the Warriors is off limits when it comes to potential trades.

But surely Lacob wouldn’t consider trading Stephen Curry? Or Monta Ellis?

Oh, but he would.

The Warriors have made some questionable moves in the past -- granted, not while Lacob and Guber were owners, but you may remember when the Warriors traded Jason Richardson for that Brandon Wright fellow who has averaged about 13 minutes per game in his two and a half seasons in the league.  And then there were all of the other players (Matt Barnes, Stephen Jackson, Mickael Pietrus just to name a few) they got rid of when they inexplicably dismantled the team that took them to the second round of the playoffs in 2007. Crazy stuff.

But anyway, in a recent interview with Matt Steinmetz, Lacob said nothing will get in the way of the Warriors winning a championship. Nothing.  Even if it means trading Ellis or Curry.

Since then, Golden State fans have been a little uneasy, particularly because there’s been so much buzz surrounding the idea of splitting up the most exciting backcourt in the NBA.

So the question is, which of the two would the Warriors be better off trading if they did indeed decide to trade one of them? And would trading either of them actually improve the team’s chances of winning that championship thing Lacob was talking about?

Monta Ellis is the sixth leading scorer in the NBA, averaging 25.1 points per game, just behind Kobe Bryant’s 25.5. He has become the leader of the team and, again, the face of the franchise, and Lacob himself said he deserves to be an All-Star.

Ellis has been with Golden State since he entered the league and has grown into one of the best scorers and most exciting players the NBA has to offer.

Stephen Curry may not be having the kind of sophomore season Warriors fans hoped for, but he was still last season’s Rookie of the Year runner-up, and he still has one of the best looking jump shots in the league.

Blogger Brian Chung of SB Nation Bay Area said that Curry’s problems this season may stem from his inability to play off the ball and adjust to a different style of play.

“In college and for larger portions of the season, Curry was allowed to freewheel, creating shots for himself off the dribble and also directing traffic,” he said. “With the Warriors' offense now seemingly decentralizing a primary ball-handler, it kind of feels like Curry hasn’t been able to adapt fully yet.”

Avinash Kunnath, also of SB Nation Bay Area, said the real problem is the team’s defense (you know, that stuff teams are supposed to play when they’re not scoring) and that splitting up Monta and Steph won't necessarily remedy that problem.

“The Warriors need stronger big men,” he said. “They are very easy to attack inside with Biedrins seemingly declining.”

Chung agreed with Kunnath that a trade of either player is unnecessary.

“The problems the Warriors are facing are larger than which guard should be the face of the franchise,” Chung said.  “In addition to defensive issues, effort and execution have been very inconsistent not just from game to game, but from quarter to quarter.”

And if it means anything, I agree with them.

The Warriors are ranked No. 28 in the league in defense, allowing 106.5 points per game. However, in their “defense,” it is an improvement from last year, and the three seasons before that, when they finished last in that category.

“If Curry can learn to play within this system, I bet some of these debates about who is a more tradable asset of the two will die down," Chung said.

So maybe divorce isn’t the answer in this case.  Maybe the Warriors and Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry and everyone else should just tough it out for a while and change the way they play (particularly on the defensive end) instead of getting rid of arguably the most important players on the team.

So let’s just stay together.

I think we can work this out.

To reach Kamille Turnquest-Simmons, click here.



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